December 10, 2013

Leg Day Treadmill Run

Most of the country is experiencing very cold, snowy, and icy weather.  I happen to like running in the rain and snow, but sometimes I'm just not up for the cold weather tied to it.  So, yesterday was my leg day and instead of running outside I decided to use the treadmill for my run and incorporate my simple go-to leg workout.  Treadmills are mentally agonzing for me, so when I need/want to use one, it's usually a speed day or an interval day.  Yesterday I did an interval workout, but not what we are used to in running.  I decided to incorporate my leg day with intervals and this is how I did that.

Leg Day Run
1 mile warmup
12 Squats (weighted for intermediate & advanced)
24 Walking Lunges (Focus on form, not speed - weighted for intermediate & advanced)
24 Step Calf Raises

.5 mile - at a slightly faster pace than the warmup
12 Squats (weighted for intermediate & advanced
24 Walking Lunges (Focus on form, not speed - weighted for intermediate & advanced)
24 Step Calf Raises
REPEAT 3 more times slightly increasing your pace each .5 miles

Just so you can get an idea of what I mean my slightly faster, my times were:

Warmup- 10 min/mile
.5 mile - 9:50 min/mile
.5 mile - 9:40 min/mile
.5 mile - 9:31 min/mile
.5 mile - 9:22 min/mile

Depending on your fitness level, you can go faster/slower or make the pace differences less or more.

For runners, I always encourage leg days be either Monday or Tuesday to ensure your legs and glutes have ample time to recover before your long run (which is usually the weekend).

As always, feel free to leave a comment or question.


Your Personal Trainer,
Coach Andi

August 5, 2013

FIT Push up & Sit up Challenge Plan

The FIT Push up & Sit up Challenge is for anyone and everyone who wants to become stronger.  No gym membership is required and you don't have to dedicate hours of your time.  You can also perform the challenge as your only workout or incorporate it into any workout routine your currently have.

Here is the Challenge info in 1 place for easy reference.

Now go, SURPRISE yourself, and share your success with me.

Your Personal Trainer,
Coach Andi

FIT Push up & Sit up Challenge: Week 4

We have arrived to our last week of the Push up & Sit up Challenge.  Went by quick right?

This week will be a little different from the last few weeks.

Monday - Wednesday:  Rest days.  (No push ups or sit ups)

Level 1: 3 sets of 20 Push ups
3 sets of 40 sit ups

Level 2: 3 sets of 25 Push ups
3 sets of 50 sit ups

Level 3: 3 sets of 30 Push ups
3 sets of 60 sit ups

Level 4: 3 sets of 35 Push ups
3 sets of 70 sit ups

Level 5: 3 sets of max Push ups (add 5 to last week's)
3 sets of 80 sit ups

Friday:  REST


All levels:  Perform 1 set of push ups to fatigue (I'm sure you will surprise yourself.  Also, jot it down and share it with me. I would love to know how you did.)
                  Then take that number and multiply it by 2 to determine the number of sit ups.

You have completed the challenge.

I would love to know what your max was at the end of the challenge.  Please share with me so I can celebrate with you.


Your Personal Trainer,

To determine your fitness level, refer to the rules here.
Level 1: 3 sets of 15 Push ups
3 sets of 30 sit ups
Level 2: 3 sets of 20 Push ups
3 sets of 40 sit ups

Level 3: 3 sets of 25 Push ups
3 sets of 50 sit ups
Level 4: 3 sets of 30 Push ups
3 sets of 60 sit ups
Level 5: 3 sets of max Push ups
3 sets of 80 sit ups
This is no joke FIT Challengers!!! BUT I know you can do it. You all have been doing great!


August 1, 2013

5 Tips for Fitness Success

Many of us look back to the last time we were on a path to a healthy lifestyle by being active and eating better, but at the present, for some reason, we are not in the same place.  We often wonder why?  Why did I stop? 

Often times you may have fallen ill, had an event to go to, or simply were too tired to "hit" the gym and you gave into temptation and ate a whole bag of chips or ate a huge piece of cake at a party.  For many, that's the end of the road to their journey.  Without even realizing we believe that because we missed ONE day at the gym or indulged ONE day that it's all over and we have ruined ourselves and deserve to fall right back into our old patterns of living an unhealthy lifestyle. 

I'm here to tell you that IT'S NOT TRUE.  You didn't ruin anything and you deserve better than eating nonsense everyday and feeling bad not just about how you look, but how you feel.  What happened wasn't a situation to end your journey.  Simply put, LIFE HAPPENED.  Life will always happen and you have to learn to deal with it.

Here are some tips that I have gathered over the course of the last few weeks that I believe will help us all learn to deal with what life throws us without giving up on our health.  I struggle just as anyone else does.  I have had to travel for work a lot lately and was struggling with fitting my normal routing into my travel schedule, but was able to pull myself together by implementing the tips below.


1.  PLAN!  Planning your fitness and eating routing is extremely important, if not the most important key to success.  Writing down a plan will make it official and help you keep track of your progress.  Schedule and view your fitness plan like you would any other appointment.  Make time for it.  FIT IN TIME for fitness.

2.  FLEXIBILITY.  So, you missed one day.  You are sick, have a family event to attend, are just too tired.  That's ok.  It happens.  Learn to deal with missing a scheduled day to workout.  We all need breaks and view this as a time to relax and become stronger for your next workout session.  You can make it up if you have time or just pick up where you left off and get it in on your next scheduled day.

Also, if you find that your workout plan says you need to dedicate 45 minutes, but you don't have 45 consecutive minutes that day, break up your work out.  Do a portion in the morning and a portion in the evening.  Don't be afraid to change things up.  The important thing is to get something in.

3.  CREATIVITY.  Find activities you enjoy and include those into your plan.  Do you love to hike, swim, garden, bike, dance, etc?  Fit it in.  Find creative ways to stay active that bring a smile to your face.  Fitness doesn't have to be boring and it doesn't have to include a gym membership.  Go online, find a group in your area in the area you enjoy. is a great place for finding groups.

4.  PACE.  Go at your own pace.  Don't worry about what those around you are doing or what the experienced trainers are doing in the exercise video.  The key is that you learn the correct way of doing things and then go at your own pace.  Feeling the pressure to perform at a level you are not ready to will only cause frustration and demotivate you from continuing.

5.  SURPRISE YOURSELF.  Many times we often underestimate our ability and strength.  Someone mentions an exercise and your first thought is "oh, I can't do that".  Well, have you tried recently?  I mean, really tried?  I would bet that you will tend to surprise yourself more than disappoint.  So, I encourage you to take a chance and do something you don't think you can. 

Share with us your exeperiences and success stories to encourage others to keep on going and continue their journey on living a healthy lifestyle.

Your Personal Trainer,
Andi Dornelas

July 30, 2013

FIT Push up & Sit up Challenge: Week 3 Goals

Week 3 Goals
To determine your fitness level, refer to the rules here.
Level 1: 3 sets of 15 Push ups
3 sets of 30 sit ups
Level 2: 3 sets of 20 Push ups
3 sets of 40 sit ups

Level 3: 3 sets of 25 Push ups
3 sets of 50 sit ups
Level 4: 3 sets of 30 Push ups
3 sets of 60 sit ups
Level 5: 3 sets of max Push ups
3 sets of 80 sit ups
This is no joke FIT Challengers!!! BUT I know you can do it.  You all have been doing great!


Your Personal Trainer,
Coach Andi

July 22, 2013

FIT Push up & Sit up Challenge: Week 2

Week 2 Goals
To determine your fitness level, refer to the rules here.
Level 1: 3 sets of 10 Push ups
               3 sets of 20 sit ups
Level 2: 3 sets of 15 Push ups
               3 sets of 30 sit ups

Level 3: 3 sets of 20 Push ups
              3 sets of 40 sit ups
Level 4: 3 sets of 25 Push ups
               3 sets of 50 sit ups
Level 5: 3 sets of max Push ups
               3 sets of 70 sit ups


July 15, 2013

FIT Push up and Sit up Challenge: Week 1 Goals & Levels

Today is the start of our Push up and Sit up Challenge and I posted the first week's goals on facebook, but I wanted to document them somewhere easily accessible with a unique link. 

  • Allow yourself 1-2 days of rest during the week.  You can choose the day.  Just complete the challenge 5-6 days out of the week
  • Perform full push ups (not on your knees).  If you are unable to perform 1 push up, contact me via facebook and I will provide you a personalized challenge for the month. Same goes for anyone unable to perform 5 reps.  If you are unfamiliar with the proper push up form, click here.
  • Perform full range of motion sit ups, not crunches.  Click here to view how to perform a proper sit up.
  • There are 5 different levels that will cover most fitness levels.  Please contact me using the link under Rules if your fitness level is not covered.
  • How to determine your fitness level
    • Perform as many push ups as you can in one set (without break and to fatigue). 
    • Use that number to find your level. 
    • The level you find for week 1 will follow you through out the entire month of the challenge.
    • If you have any questions about your own fitness level, please feel free to contact me.
Week 1 Goal
Level 1:   3 sets of 5 Push ups
                3 sets of 10 sit ups
Level 2:  3 sets of 10 Push ups
               3 sets of 20 sit ups
Level 3: 3 sets of 15 Push ups
              3 sets of 30 sit ups
Level 4: 3 sets of 20 Push ups
              3 sets of 40 sit ups
Level 5: 3 sets of max Push ups
              3 sets of 60 sit ups

FIT Push up & Sit up Challenge: Proper Form

As promised, here are videos demonstrating proper form when performing your push ups and sit ups.


As I've mentioned, this challenge is for full and complete push ups (so, no knees) and full range of motion sit ups). If you are unable to complete 1 full push up, please leave me a message and I will work with you to create a personalized challenge so that you can join us.

Sit ups

Remember, the challenge required you to perform sit ups, not crunches.  The videos are basically the same, but the hand positions are different.  Remember that sit ups are a controlled motion, therefore, try your best not to just use momentum to pull yourself up and down.  You should feel this is your abs.  One last quick note, do not pull on your neck.  It is not necessary.

Now that you know the correct form.  Go start the challenge and SURPRISE YOURSELF!!!
Your Personal Trainer,
Coach Andi

July 12, 2013

Push up Challenge: Benefits of Push ups

FIT Push up & Sit up Challenge can be done by

Recently, I have been very busy with my day job and FIT Camp, amongst other things, making it difficult to get a workout in myself.  In an effort to keep active, even when I'm stuck inside my house, I decided to complete at least 30 push ups (3 sets of 10) and 60 (3 sets of 20) sit ups a day.  That way, if I can't fit in a long workout, at least I got something in.  In 1 week I started noticing a difference in my upper body muscle size and tone.  I not only started seeing physical results, but became surprised at how much strength I actually had and how quickly I was improving.  That explains my recent tag line of SURPRISE YOURSELF!  I have been surprising myself and I know you will too! ... and this is a great way for you to do it.

Many times we find ourselves unable to attend the gym and much fit in a workout at our home, job, park, etc.  Push ups can be a great method to build and maintain your strength.

Push ups work your entire upper body; this includes muscles such as your deltoids, lats, triceps, pectorals, biceps and abs.

This picture illustrates all the muscles being actively used when performing sit ups.

Push ups also increases your heart rate when performing high reps, which in turn helps raise the metabolism. 

They are a great exercise to warm up the body and help reduce the chance of injury during weight training.  Using your body weight will get your blood pumping throughout your body and get your muscles ready for listing heavier weight.

Depending on your strength level, push ups can help either build muscle or tone.

Build muscle = Lower reps with more weight
Tone muscle = High reps with less weight
(Women tend to want to stick to toning only because of the fear of getting big, but generally speaking, you can only tone a muscle if you have a muscle)

If you’re a beginner and can manage to do 5-10 push ups at once, you will notice improvements to the size of your muscle from just doing push ups. As you progressively manage to do a higher number of push ups at once, you will notice more improvements to your tone.

If you have a high strength level (you can do 30-40 push ups at once) , you may feel push ups are useless, but it is beneficial.  If you consistently stick to exercises that build muscle strength and side at a max rep of 10, your body will become familiar with this range.  To effectively have your body improve and grow, you must perform workout routines that introduce, the all famous, muscle confusion.  Push ups are a great way to mix in a higher rep exercise while maintaining muscular strength and improving your muscle tone.

The FIT Push up Challenge will provide rep suggestions for Beginners, Intermediate, and Advanced strength levels.  I hope you join us and SURPRISE YOURSELF!!!

May 28, 2013

The Journey to a Pull-up

Now that marathon training is behind me, I'm working on finally reaching my goal of performing unassisted pullups.  I dream of the day I can actually pull my head above the bar from a hanging position, but that dream won't be a reality without some hard work.

So, does my dream sound familiar? Is it something that you've always wanted to do as well, but don't know the road to get there?  Well, I'm on the journey and if you are up to the challenge, you are free to join me in my journey.  I have the benefit of having my hubby train me and we've already started, but I will be sharing with you what I'm doing to get to me my goal.  My wish is that I have pictures sent to me with tons of people performing unassisted pull ups for the first time.

The workouts I post for this training is specifically meant to get you to your goal of the pullup and can/should be done in conjunction with your normal workout routine.  These exercises will be specifically targets to strengthening the muscles need to get your chin above that bar...that damn bar!

So, here is the first workout.  It's simple, but tough.  It left me sore for days and I loved it.

We are doing 20-15-10.  That means the first set consists of 20 reps, the second 15, and the last 10.  You may think this is crazy because doing 10 pushups for beginners is hard, but you can take breaks in between the reps.  However, keep those breaks SHORT.  Below you will find pictures of some of the exercises to help you understand what I am looking for and/or how you can use what you have around you to complete the exercises.

Once you have completed this workout, leave me a comment and let me know how it went and also how you felt the next day.  I love hearing experiences.

Assisted Pull-ups 
You will need access to a pull up bar.  There is no way around this when training for pull ups.  Monkey bars will do as well.  Get created and think outside the box.
  • Chair
You can use a chair, bench or stool to help remove some of your body weight.  Do not use your legs to pull you up, but try to use your arms as much as possible.

  • Rubber band
You can also use a large exercise band.  There are different size bands that are out there so you can progress using those as well.

  • Machine
If you have access to a weighted pull up machine, you can use that for the assisted pull-ups, however, I strongly encourage you to make sure you are challenging yourself and ensure your weights are not assisting you too much.

Inverted Pull-ups

  • Low bar 
You can use a weighted barbell at the gym or find one at your local park.  Any bar will work as long as it's low and you can extend your legs.


  • TRX/Olympic Rings

These can be performed on a TRX or Olympic Rings, as well.  If you look at the pictures below, your elbows come out wide, they should not be close to your body. 

Let me know if you have any questions by leaving a comment here or contacting me on my website

Together, we will get there.

Your Personal Trainer,
Coach Andi

May 15, 2013

Gatorade: Weight Loss Sabotage???

When my weight loss journey started to include running, I would constantly find myself drinking sports beverages, such as Gatorade.  I would research everything I needed to know about running and part of that research included what I needed nutritionally as a runner.  One of the "essential" items was sports drinks to ensure that I would replace the electrolytes I would lose in sweat.  Sports drinks, in fact, do help replace electrolytes, but at a cost.

When exercising heavily, you lose electrolytes in your sweat, particularly sodium and potassium. These electrolytes must be replaced to keep the electrolyte concentrations of your body fluids constant. So, many sports drinks have sodium chloride or potassium chloride added to them. In addition, they include sugar and flavorings to provide your body with extra energy and to make the drink taste better.

Electrolytes are important because they are what your cells (especially nerve, heart, muscle) use to maintain voltages across their cell membranes and to carry electrical impulses (nerve impulses, muscle contractions) across themselves and to other cells. Your kidneys work to keep the electrolyte concentrations in your blood constant despite changes in your body.

Water is a perfect source of hydration even for physically active people. Gatorade is a great way to stay hydrated as well, but if you look at the nutritional information of a bottle of a sports drink, the calories and sugar content isn't much different from a can of Coca Cola.  Also, they contain sodium (salt) so anyone who has been told to watch their sodium intake should limit the sports beverages they're consuming

Fortunately, there are natural ways to ensure your electrolytes aren't depleted like eating bananas or oranges.  Lots of fruits and vegetables can provide you the service you are looking for in a bottle of a sports drink.

I wouldn't say, it's never appropriate.  I recommend a sports drink for any physical endurance lasting longer than an hour.  Water should be sufficient for any exercise or sport lasting less than 1 hour.

Many individuals trying to lose weight may find the pounds aren't coming off as much as they expect because of all the hard work they are putting in at the gym.  But maybe, we are consuming too many calories while at the gym.  I encourage you to replace your sports drink with good old water.  It's the best way to hydrate.  Sports drinks should only be limited to activities over 1 hour.

So, grab yourself a bottle of water and save yourself about 130 calories and 30 grams of sugar.

Now get out there and show yourself what your made of!  Have a strong day!

Your Personal Trainer,
Andi Dornelas

May 7, 2013

Tacoma City Marathon - A Race to Remember

A couple days later and I'm still in awe of Sunday's Tacoma City Marathon.  I have so many thoughts and emotions about it and wanted to capture them somewhere, so I thought "what better place than my blog".

Where to begin? about the beginning?

As 2012 was coming to an end, I was trying to plan my running goals for 2013.  I knew I wanted to set a PR (personal record), but I couldn't decide which race I would aim to do that. Initially, I wanted to PR my Captial City Marathon.  When I ran the race in 2012, I was having knee issues but still managed to muster up a PR and to date, that was my best marathon.  I loved the scenic route, the support, the size...I loved everything about it.  But, there was Tacoma City Marathon in the back of my mind because one of my running buddies said she absolutely loved that race, so I was torn.  After lots of discussion, research, and strategy sessions with myself, I decided to aim for the Tacoma City Marathon and still run the Capital City for fun (yes, I know.  I'm nuts).

I posted my new goal (PR at the Tacoma City Marathon) on facebook and asked who was willing to train with me.  I had a few people interested and we had a New Years Training Kick off party on January 1.  The group slowly grew to about 14 active runners.  We had some veteran marathoners (even from Germany), some new marathoners, and some who just loved to run.  Everyone had their own reasons for doing it, but what joined us was our mission to serve as a living memorial for the service and sacrifice of our military.  There were weekends we all ran our long runs together and there were times we each fit it in when we could.  The goal was to never run alone and I'm happy to say that we all were able to run with someone and rarely, if ever, had to run our long runs solo.

Marathon day was approaching and the weather was a bit frightening.  We were seeing the temps reaching the 80s and with clear skies...which if you know Washington State, you know that's a rare thing.  Especially in April/May.  We didn't let that dampen our spirits.  We were excited to have clear skies and just made sure we were prepared for the heat.

The day before, we all met up at my house and had a Carb Party.  It was a beautiful day and a time where we could all be together in a relaxed environment, eat, drink (Water & gatorade) and just enjoy each other's company...without being covered in sweat.  We had tons of laughs and was glad to have those moments with the runners and their families.

When everyone left to go get their rest, I quickly cleaned up and went to rest myself.  I got all my stuff ready and put it all in one spot so I wouldn't forget anything.  Set my alarm clock for a 3:45 wake up time and went to get some zzzzz's.

I guess I quickly fell alseep because the next thing I remember is my phone ringing and someone on the other line saying "where are you?"  I jumped up and said "omg, I overslept".  I was suppose to pick up 3 other runners at 5am and it was 4:50am.  I literally shoved my pile of stuff into my bag, got dressed, pulled back my hair, grabbed a banana & avocado, and left.  I had us in Tacoma and parked by 5:35am.  Now, that's impressive.  My Jersey driving skills came into play.

We saw some fellow runners and waited for the shuttle bus to head to the start.  I had my banana, met a new runner, and chatted away (of course, about running).  When we pulled into the Tacoma Narrows Airport (our start), we saw Kim and her hubby who decided to start with the early crowd at 6am. It was awesome to get to see her at the early stages of her race.  We headed to the starting area and quickly noticed a ginormal the porta potties, so we did the logical thing; we got in line.  We were sure by the time we got there, we would need to "go".

After some photos, we gathered at 6:45 to have our circle of remembrance.  We took some moments to focus and honor those for whom we were running for...our fallen heroes.  I ran for SPC Thomas Duncan and in honor of my husband, Sgt Felipe very own personal hero.  And then...we were off.

The day was sunny and clear and the run over the Tacoma Narrows Bridge was amazing.  I was running along side Jamie.  A runner I recently met when training with the wear blue group for Seattle Rock n Roll.  She is such an awesome person and I was happy to have this time to get to know her better.  We had so much support from our wear blue: run to remember family out on the course.  It was great to see those familiar faces and remember why we were there...remember our mission...what gives us purpose to run.

Right after the half point, there was a couple (Denny and Cori) that I absolutely love, waiting to cheer us on and Denny was holding a small American flag.  He ran a few yards with me and asked if I wanted to run with the flag.  I quickly said yes, and that simple gesture...that simple flag meant the world to my running experience.  I can't tell you how many times I would look at the flag and just want to kiss it.  I would think of all our fallen heroes and all those out there now serving our country.  I would think about how much I love this country and what it stands for.  The flag represented the American spirit to me.  One that does not accept defeat, but pushes on until the mission is complete.  I would think about my husband that is going through 3 weeks of hell to conquer his dream and defend this nation the only way he knows an elite soldier.  Every time I would think of him, I would put my hand over my heart and say to myself "you are not here, but I can feel you".  And I meant it.  I could feel my husband.  I could feel his love, his support, and his belief that I could achieve my goal.  I just knew that the pain and the heavy legs I was feeling was nothing compared to what he was feeling and I could and would push on until I cross that finish line.

Approaching Ruston Way, along the Sound, was hot.  I just knew that last stretch was not going to be easy.  We had no shade and it definitely was at least in the upper 70s.  (when you are use to running in 40-50 degree weather, that is like running in a sauna).  I decided to break it up into a run/walk and would track my progress to make sure I was within my goal of finishing in 4 hours and 30 minutes.

As I was heading towards the end of Ruston Way and heading through the over passes to head back into the city, I saw Kim and her hubby.  Tears came to my eyes because she had injured herself and decided to do what she needed to do to get through this.  Eventually, I caught up to them.  She looked so strong and I was so proud and happy to hear she wasn't experiencing pain (well, at least not beyond what's normal for a marathon). 

Where was Jamie through all of this??? She was somewhere ahead of me.  I had a little strategy going, so Jamie and I tag teamed the lead for the first half.  We were sticking with the 4:25 pacer, but around mile 18 I had to make a pit stop.  I told myself " you have 5 minutes if you want to make your goal at least".  That pit stop is a whole story I will not get into here, but after that I lost Jamie.  Towards the end of the race I was able to spot her.  I tried my best to catch up, but was happy just having her in sight; not just to push me, but also to watch her finish!

I could see the 26 mile the top of yet another hill.  At that point I decided that once I reached that sign there was no walking.  I would run to the finish.  I would run strong and it didn't matter how much it hurt.  I took one last walk break, ran to the 26 mile sign, turned the corner and was pleasantly surprised with a downhill finish!!!  I took my flag, held it high filled with pride, picked up my pace and took off.  As I got closer to the finish I look to the right and see a ton of my wear blue family waiting.  Waiting for us, but waiting for me.  I can't tell you how special that was.  My husband was away, my parents are far away, and my girls couldn't come.  But, I was not alone.  Words can't describe the gratefulness I have for all of them.  Some waited after their half marathon and some just came to cheer us on...some with their kids in the hot sun.  It was just amazing.  I have lived here for almost 2 years and I have met amazing people...made amazing friends.  Running has changed my life...running has introduced me to beautiful people.  People who make my life better.  So thank you.  Thank you to everyone who was there and who couldn't, but wished they could be there.  My hubby wasn't there, but you made sure I wasn't alone.

So, let's get back to the race.  I crossed that finish line, grabbed a bottle of water, and noticed my watch tell me I finished in 4:32.  I missed my goal by 2 minutes, but I still did hit a PR by 10 minutes, which is still great.  I was beyond happy because I knew I gave my all out there.  I knew that if it wasn't so hot and I didn't take that pit stop, I could have made my goal and probably even exceeded it.

I headed towards the wear blue peeps to cheer in the other runners.  All my runners were out there giving it their all and I wanted to be there to see it.  As we waited, I looked out and saw a cluster of wear blue runners coming into the finish line.  I thought "who are they?" Well, "they" were Blake's group.  Blake is an amazing 5 year old who's daddy is one our brave fallen heroes.  Blake.. yep... he's a runner.  He registered to run the kids marathon and he had his own support crew running with him.  He came in sprinting to the finish.  An amazing kid with an amazing mom.

Soon after I see Kim and Travis yet again.  Looking strong Travis and Kim head to the finish and I knew that Kim left it all out on that course.  A woman with a fractured heel who was determined to run the marathon and not only did she run it, she finished it.

Then, I see Jenni coming with Neil and Conrad.  This was Jenni's first marathon.  Her "sweat" sister Cathy flew in from Germany just to run the race with her.  All that traveling must have weekend Cathy's immune system because that girl got sick a couple times since she got to the states for the race, but she was a trooper and ran that race. She didn't care how she felt or what ailments she had.  She ran with determination.  Well, I see Jenni coming and Cathy is not along side her so at first I got a bit nervous, but was too focused watching Jenni finish.  This girls looked strong.  She sprinted to the finish with her hands in the air and just looked like a champion.  Neil, is also a cyclist who is riding a 100 mile bike race next weekend to raise money for diabetes.  Neil, Jenni, and Cathy always use to run together and he has been training along side us the entire time even though he wasn't going to run the marathon.  He joined Jenni & Cathy at mile 13 and finished the race with her.  Conrad, ran the half and started walk/running the course backwards to meet up with them to run the last leg. See...amazing people.

I turn my head back to the course and I see a huge American flag...and it's Cathy holding it.  Ugh, my heart was happy.  This girl was invincible.  A true athlete. Simply amazing.  And yet again, another strong finish.  Soon after Rita made her way to the finish.  Rita ran a marathon on Saturday and ran Tacoma City Marathon as well.  A double marathon she ran to honor her friend who was fighting cancer.  She was part of a relay group that was running in support of her friend and who Rita had the honor and pleasure of finishing the race with.  See...another case of amazing people.

There were still runners out there, but I wanted to go see everyone who had just finished.  I headed to the end of the finish line chute and gave all the runners a huge hug.  It was now time for me to get my slice of pizza to munch on until the other runners came in, but nature stepped in again.  There I was in the porta pottie when I hear them should out Chery's name.  I smiled for her and cheered for her while I was in there lol.  The life of a runner is hilarious, let me tell ya.  Eventually I gave Cheryl and Josh their celebratory and congratulatory hug.  They did amazing!

Soon after Ann and Kai made their way to the finish line.  Finishing strong with smiles on their faces...probably planning their next tennis match.  At that point it was time to head home.  I looked over to figure out how to get to my car and it was not a pleasant sight.  Stairs... a lot of stairs!  and it was the only way.  So I opened my bag of chips and headed up those stairs.  One agonizing step after another.

The race was over and it was now time to go home...and here I am now 48 hours later still experiencing a runners high ... itching for the Captial City Marathon in less than 2 weeks.  And the question remains..."What is wrong with me?"  I'm a runner!  I'm proud to be crazy!  I'm proud to be a runner!

This is my Tacoma City Marathon story.  One that might bore you, but it doesn't bore me because there is life behind every word.  Each minute spent in training and on the race course was memorable...and memories I never want to forget.

Here is a link to my facebook photo album.

P.S.  This is my story, but the runners will also be sharing their story with you soon.  Wait for it...

April 10, 2013

FIT Camp Coming Soon

So, I'm working on the launch of Fit in Time's FIT Camp.  The concept is there, most of the equipment is ready, but still need to get some of the logistics and administrative stuff out of the way. 
I'm very excited about this class because I've had many requests for this type of class and also because I know that it will benefit anyone and everyone that takes it.  
 My mission with FIT Camp is to:
  • Provide a fun and motivating class 
  • Show you just how strong you really are
  • Provide you with exercises with limited equipment that can be done virtually anywhere
 In addition, there are many other benefits that I think will appeal to you...

1. Low Cost: Since you will be sharing a personal trainer with 3-4 other people, I am able to provide a group training rate.

2. Educational: I will always provide fitness, health, and nutritional information (personalized) during our classes.

3. Portable: Most exercises you will learn at FIT Camp can be done nearly anywhere with limited equipment.

4. Motivational: Motivation is natural when you are performing fun and interactive exercises with a group of people.

5. Fun: A circuit type class helps break up the boredom & monotony that may come with "traditional" gym workouts.

6. Interval Training Emphasis: FIT camp is the perfect platform to provide you with alternating bouts of high & low intensity increasing your calorie burn, metabolic rate, and your aerobic capacity.

7. Efficient: In just 1 hour, you will get a full body STRENGTH & CARDIO workout.

So, the question is, Why wouldn't you consider taking a FIT Camp Class?
There's so much to gain, and not just physically.  
I'll be in touch, providing you with updates and we move closer to the launch.
Thank you for taking the time to read this.  Thank you so much for your support. 
...and Thank you in advance for sharing this with your friends and family.
Your Personal Trainer,
Coach Andi

February 25, 2013

FIT at-home Abs Demo

The demo's below are to demonstrate the exercises for the FIT at-home Abs workout that can be found on my website.

Abs Warmup Demo

Belly Blaster Demo

Rockin' Oblique Demo

February 21, 2013

Day 4: FIT Interval Training

Indoor Cycling (Spinning) is a great example of Interval Training

Day 4 of our FIT Belly Blaster Tipes is Interval Training

I am an endurance runner and although running started as a way for me to begin a healthy lifestyle and lose weight, running for hours on end really isn't the way to lose belly fat.

We have always associated weight loss with the need of hours and hours of cardio, but I want you to change your mind set.  Running, cycling, rowing, etc for miles and miles is great and has a lot of benefits, but if you are looking to lose weight, especially belly fat, that's not the way to go.  I won't go into the details about endurance on this post because I want to focus on the topic at hand.

I'm not saying you don't have to do cardio. I'm just saying we must change our mindset about what an effective cardio workout looks like for fat loss.  You may have heard of Interval or HITT training.  That's what we need.  So your workout may be shorter, but more intense.  Great news for busy people, like you and me.

HIIT workouts are a version of cardiovascular training that uses alternating periods of high intensity work with maximum effort followed by lower intense periods of lower intensity work.  For my running friends, this can be compared to efforts during a speed training session.

A study in Applied Physiology, Nutrition and Metabolism revealed that “High-intensity aerobic interval training increases fat and carbohydrate metabolic capacities in human skeletal muscle." They found that interval training will help the body oxidize fats and carbohydrates meaning you’ll have some awesome rapid fat loss results.

There's another benefit to HIIT (Interval) Training aside from weight loss.  We spend a shorter amount of time performing the actual workout.  While most people who are trying to lose fat by jogging on the treadmill for 45 minutes you can be done in 20 minutes and burn a ton more fat than them too...and this I can attest to by personal experience.

I will be posting a video in the next few days of an interval workout you can perform on the treadmill, but for now, I will provide you a written sample.  Also, keep in mind that most cardio equipment at the gym has built in interval workout settings you can use.  Just make sure to adjust it to your fitness level.

Don't have access to cardio equipment?  No problem.  You can perform this outdoor.  Run one block, jog/walk the next or use trees, building, etc as target points to alternate between intense and recovery.

Here is a sample treadmill interval workout:

Warm-up for 2-5 minutes,
Run for one minute at 5.0* mph
Recover for one minute at 3.5 mph
Run for one minute at 5.5 mph
Recover for one minute at 3.5 mph
Run for one minute at 6.0 mph
Recover for one minute at 3.5 mph
Run for one minute at 6.5 mph
Recover for one minute at 3.5 mph

Continue to increase the speed at each interval and repeat this pattern for 10 to 20 minutes.

 *Adjust the speed based on your current fitness level

Please feel free to leave me questions in the comments section or contact me at

Your Personal Trainer,
Coach Andi

February 20, 2013

Day 3: FIT in Water

Day 3:  Drink water

Everyone knows that water is essential to the human body, but even so, many people don't drink water and if they do, they don't drink enough.

I can go on and on about the benefits of water, but I'll keep it simple.  Drink more water.  You don't have to go from 0 to 100, but add a glass before or during every meal at first or drink a cup in the afternoon.  Substitute one of your sugary drink with water.  Just add more water.  Below are some pictures with information about the benefits of water that I felt more interesting to post than for me to bullet out.

Your Personal Trainer,
Coach Andi

February 19, 2013

Day 2: Show the Enemy Who's FIT

Q: What causes that stubborn belly fat that makes us pout when we look in the mirror?

A:  The Enemy: Refined Processed Carbohydrates (a.k.a. bad carbs, simple carbs)

If you aren't sure what foods would be considered Refined Processed Carbs, keep reading and I'll give you examples.

Since these bad carbs are the main cause of belly fat, then one can say that by limiting or eliminating them you can stop accumulating that nasty stuff hiding your fabulous ab muscles.  Ideally, you would want to replace these foods with some of the foods I listed in yesterday's blog (MUFA's & Falovonoids rich foods).

Now that you understand the cause, you may be asking "Well, what foods should I be avoiding?"

Before I get into that, I want to focus on what foods you SHOULD be eating.  This is not about deprivation but about eating smart.

Whole foods...that's what you can eat.  There is so much that you can eat that fall under whole foods, but just in case you don't know what that means, here are some high level examples


  • Lean protein
  • Fresh fruits
  • Vegetables
  • Whole grains (oats, barley, sweet potato, squash...)

What do I consider whole foods?  Generally speaking, foods that do not include chemicals and additives.

So now that we've covered what you CAN eat.  Let's talk about what you SHOULD NOT eat.  Why did I highlight SHOULD NOT?  Because you can eat them, but it should be strictly restricted if you are trying to get FIT abs.

  • White sugar
  • Foods containing corn syrup
  • Sodas
  • Sugary drinks (this includes sweetened fruit
    juice and tea)
  • Alcohol
  • Canned fruits and veggies containing added
  • Sweetened applesauce
  • White flour and anything made with white
    flour; such as,bread, muffins, bagels, cakes, cookies, pasta, biscuits, donuts, etc.
  • Cereals
  • Potato chips/pretzels
  • Pizza
  • Desserts
  • Boxed puddings
  • Candy/toffee/sweets
  • Store bought cooked meats/cold cuts (when
    they have added sugars and additives)
  • Sausages/hot dog frankfurters
  • Jelly/Jams (Jams that are naturally sweetened are fine in moderation)

Let's talk about some of the foods show below.  Although these foods may be considered "diet" foods, they are filled with chemicals, additives, and preservatives.   These are not considered real (whole) foods.  They may be "low" in calories, sugar, and/or fat, but your body will react negatively to many of the ingredients, therefore, causing an inflammatory response...which translates to weight gain.

 Although all the items above may be tasty, the gratification is temporary.  The long term effects of eating or drinking these items are not ones that I believe you enjoy.  Most of us are addicted to simple sugars, bad carbs, or whatever you want to call them and we will go through withdrawal symptoms if we decide to eliminate them from our diet.  You can either choose to limit them slowly or all at once.  Withdrawals symptoms usually last about 2-3 days, if giving them up "cold turkey" and symptoms primarily consist of headaches and fatigue.  Once you go through your withdrawal and keep up your clean eating, you will notice that your bad carb cravings will subside after about 3 weeks.  I, however, believe that if you are eating a balanced meal, you shouldn't have many cravings.

Am I saying you can never eat anything from the "bad" carbs list.  Of course not.  However, everything in moderation.  We shouldn't find ourselves eating them on a daily basis.  They should be an indulgence, not part of your regular diet. 

So, go show the enemy that you have control over your body and have the will power to give them up on a daily basis.  Let's work to reveal those strong abs screaming to be seen.

If this post leaves you with questions or doubts, feel free to leave a question in the comments section or by contacting me on my website.

Your Personal Trainer,
Coach Andi

February 18, 2013

Day 1: Belly Blaster FIT Foods

The dreaded belly fat...

Some women may refer to it as baby belly, but it's not just something that plagues mom.  Everyone can suffer from excess belly fat.  You can spend a whole hour a day doing sit ups and crunches, but may find that your abs still don't look as strong as they feel.  That's because you are only doing a fraction of the work necessary to reveal those strong abs hiding underneath that stubborn visceral fat.

All week I will be sharing easy tips that you can incorporate into your lifestyle that will help you achieve great abs that will make you proud.

Day 1:  Belly Blaster FIT Foods

There are tons of foods I could recommend, but don't want to overwhelm you, so I am going to focus on 2 categories of foods.

Monounsaturated Fatty Acids (MUFAs)

What Andi?  I think you are confused. 

No, I'm not.  Monounsaturated fats lower your cholesterol and counteract the effects of "bad" fats such as trans fats and saturated fat, which can clog your arteries and lead to heart problems.  In simple terms, MUFA's are good fats that help fight off bad fat.  Similar to bacteria in our intestines.  We need a certain level of ,what we consider, good bacteria to fight off the bad bacteria.  It's the same concept. 

Eating sources of MUFA's with your meals will help your body burn fat, specifically visceral fat which is found in the stomach area.  They help increase your metabolic rate which allow your body to burn fat quicker.

Here are some examples of foods high in MUFA's that I recommend adding to your diet. 
  • Salmon
  • Avocado
  • Olives
  • Nuts 

*Portion sizing is key because these foods can be high in calories. Limit the amounts you consume.  For example, eat only 8 almonds or 1/2 an avocado to achieve fat burning but not put on weight because high calorie consumption.  The essence of weight loss does not change.  Calories in, calories out.  However, certain foods affect your body differently and can have direct impact on your body shape.


Flavonoids, an antioxidant, improves the body's metabolic profile, alters the way fats are processed through your body, and contains anti-inflammatory properties.
Some examples of foods high in flavonoids are:
  • Apples
  • Berries (blueberries, raspberries, strawberries, etc)
  • Pears
  • Black & Pinto beans
  • Cabbage
  • Onion
  • Parsley
  • Tomatoes  

There are more foods that fall into these 2 categories, but these are just some examples to get you started.  I hope this helps and if you have any questions, please feel free to leave them in the comments section or contact me on my website.

Your Personal Trainer,
Coach Andi  

February 15, 2013

Marathon Nutrition

The Tacoma City Marathon Running Crew is starting to increase our training mileage and I felt it critical to share the importance of nutrition during training.

As we train and prepare for a marathon, nutrition is one of the most important aspects for which we should put thought and planning into.  A carefully planned training schedule has little value if we don't properly plan to meet our nutritional requirements for a long distance run and race.

I mentioned last week before the run that water will generally suffice for runners up to 2 hours, if your glycogen stores are trained to do so, but there are some high level tips that will help make sure you have a successful race.

  • Starting your long run hydrated fuled is just as important as hydrating during the run.
  • Water is the drink of choice for runs anywhere between 1-2 hours
  • A source of fuel containing electrolytes, such as sports drinks or GU, are recommended for runs over 60 min  
  • Always sip on water during your run even if you don't feel thirsty.  Don't rely on your thirst to indicate whether or not you need to drink.  If you wait until you feel thirsty, you have waited too long and your body is well on it's way to dehydration.  
  • It is virtually impossible to "catch up" on your fluid requirements once you sense that you're thirsty. It is important that you hydrate constantly during the day. The color of your urine should be relatively clear. 
  • Practicing your carbohydrate and electrolyte supplements on a training run is extremely important, especially if you have a sensitive GI Tract. Gels are a great carb and electrolyte supplement, but runners must find the right balance of gel and water intake to ensure proper absorption and avoid cramping.  There are also gummies, jelly beans, etc available.  
Every runner is different and experimenting on a training run is the best way to ensure you don't have a lousy run on race day.  Cutting a training run short because of cramping, nausea, or a bathroom stop is definitely the way to go.  Feeling great during your race definitely helps with your success.  No one wants to feel lousy on race day or cut the run short because their body didn't agree with something they never ate before.  

We spend weeks...months training for marathon day and what we drink and eat during the run is just as important.  Think, plan, and prepare for success.  Train for the miles and train for hydration.  Trust me, a dehydrated runner is a miserable runner. (Speaking from experience)

Feel free to ask questions or request recommendations.

Happy runnings...

January 24, 2013

Detox without Starving

So my last post I mentioned that I had bought this tea.

I wanted to try it out and give it some time before I wrote a review because I wanted to see exactly how I would feel after drinking the tea consistently.

I am not one for starving myself or withholding from food in general.  The only time I will fast will be for spiritual reasons and there is lots of suffering in that for me because I love food.  With that being said, as I mentioned in the previous post, I felt I needed to detox after the holidays, but was not up for limiting my food to just fruits & veggies because I'm training for a marathon.  After hearing about dandelion tea and doing some research, I decided to give it a try. (details are in my previous post)

Side note: I discovered the tea in my local grocery store, Safeway, but have also recently seen it at Walmart.  I assume it's a pretty easy tea to find.  

The tea is made with dandelion & chicory (licorice) roots to help stimulate your liver's natural detoxification processes. It does smell and taste a lot like licorice, so be warned because I know that it's a very strong flavor and not one that may be liked by everyone.

The tea hits all the different possible taste buds with a complex blend of sweet, sour, bitter, pungent, & salty.  Now, before you cringe, it's not as bad as you may think.  You have to try it for yourself to really judge it.  I like adding some honey to my tea to sweeten it up and it helps with all the other areas you may not be fond of.

I have been drinking the tea 2 times a day (morning & evening) while continuing with my normal healthy eating habits.  Within a couple days I did feel the cleaning effects of the tea.

Not only did I hit the bathroom more than usual (I know, TMI ), but I felt lighter.  I'm not sure how to explain it, but I didn't feel as "heavy" in my stomach region.  Eventually, the bathroom resumed back to normal, but can tell I was reset and back to a normal schedule...if you know what I mean.

Side note: This tea is not a laxative.

When going through a detox, one of the primary things we are trying to accomplish is to detoxify the liver so that it performs as it should.  The liver has a few functions which include detoxification, protein synthesis, glycogen storage, decomposition of red blood cells, hormone production, and production of biochemicals which are necessary for digestion. All of these functions play a role in how our body interacts with food and in essence weight gain.  So, it makes sense that having a clean and healthy liver can only help us with our efforts in achieving a healthy lifestyle.

I believe I was able to achieve a detoxification of the liver without having to starve myself or without needing to abstain from certain foods.  I feel lighter and can honestly say...cleaner.  Now, keep in mind that I generally am a healthy eater, but the "clean" feeling only came after I started drinking the tea.

If you are looking for something you can do in addition to what you are doing now to help detox your body, I highly recommend this tea. 

Side Note: Make sure you follow the directions on how to properly brew.

Until the next time, have a great one...

January 9, 2013

Detox - Dandelion Tea

For those of you who know me pretty well, you know

1.  I don't agree with radical diets
2.  I'm not a fan of deprivation or starvation for weight loss
3.  I love food and believe you should ENJOY your food
4.  I have always hated hot tea and it would make me gag when I would drink it.

Well, recently (for health reasons) I have ACQUIRED a taste for green tea and peppermint tea.  I used this to also help with sweets cravings.

Back in early December I did a 3 day detox where I juiced and ate only raw veggies, fruits & nuts.  Honestly, it wasn't as bad as I thought and I really felt the benefits of detox on my body.  Needless to say over the holidays I indulged in large amount of desserts.  Yummy desserts made with condensed milk.  I may have over exaggerated and now feel the need to detox again.  However, I am in the middle of training and cannot afford to detox and not train, so I needed another method of detoxifying my body and wouldn't drain me of my energy.

I have been hearing a lot about dandelion tea and how it's great to incorporate into your healthy diet to help detoxify the liver.  I figured since everyone has been talking about it, I should be able to easily find some at my local supermarket.  So, I went looking for it and had to start reading ingredients on boxes because I was not "easily" finding it.  There were 2 teas that contained dandelion root, so I chose the one where it was one of the main ingredients.  The other main ingredient in the tea I chose was licorice root (obviously listed in it's scientific name).  To most people that would be a turn off, but I do happen to enjoy black licorice.  I know, I hate tea and like licorice...I'm weird.  Not sure how I felt about the taste of licorice in hot water, but was willing to buy it and give it a try.

I honestly was expecting to gag with this tea, but decided to try some after breakfast because I'll do things that are good for me and hope to acquire a taste. I read the box and followed the instructions.  After brewing, you must let it sit for about 15 minutes to obtain it's full flavor and benefits.  I used my new Keurig to brew some hot water for me, added a touch of honey, and added the tea bag.

One of the nice things about letting the tea sit is that you do not burn your mouth when you take that first sip =)

I am amazed to tell you how much I enjoyed the tea.  It was much better than expected and wouldn't mind drinking this 2-3 times a day as recommended.  I read customer reviews and there was not 1 negative review in all the sites I researched.  People mentioned how they enjoyed it and how sweeteners are not needed (which will try next time because I believe it), they mentioned how they felt a sense of well being after, and how it really did help flush out their bodies.

I am not yet at a point to comment or review the tea in that sense, but it really was great tasting and wanted to share it with everyone because if it really helps in the way I'm thinking, it's a great addition to your diet.  I won't be able to completely give up coffee.  It's not about the's the taste and the experience I have when I drink it, but I will definitely be adding this tea to my daily routine.

Below is a picture of the tea I bought.  They also have one with a lemon flavor, but can't comment on the taste of that tea.  Hoping this works so I don't have to starve myself.

If you happen to try it, feel free to leave me a comment and let me know your thoughts.